Wednesday, May 09, 2012

OHT Part 1: Hare Mountain

I've been thinking for several days how to write up last Friday's adventure on the Ozark Highlands Trail. I don't quite know where to begin. My plan, which I had been very excited about for weeks, was to run from the Cherry Bend trailhead to Indian Creek and back, about 28 miles. That is not what happened.

Hare Mountain

The OHT trail system is 218 miles long and growing. Contrary to what the OHT people say, not all of it is wonderful. It is 8 o'clock in the morning and I am about to embark on eight miles of unredeeming arduousness called Hare Mountain. The poison ivy has completely overgrown the trail and is wet with morning dew. A hundred yards into the hike and both feet are already soaked. I'll at least run the clear sections. No I won't because I keep twisting my ankles walking through the brush. I don't know how many twistings they can take in a day. Finally, a flat rock where I can check myself for ticks. Just three. Look, a friend on my shoe!

Just noticed the view of Hwy 23 where my car is parked. I wonder if the people stopping on that senic overlook can see me here.

This must be the old homesite mentioned in Tim Ernst's book.

There's supposed to be a well around here somewhere. Oh, here it is.

This campsite is worth a picture. I like the stone chairs. I'll just back up into this grass so I can get it all . . . Oh, another friend!

I'll just find a different angle.

I better get moving. Should be several miles of downhill into a dirt road. Here's a clearing. Pack off, shirt off, I'm checking everywhere: Pits, balls, crack, taint. Looks good, no ticks. What a slog. Must be the warm spring. I had no idea conditions would be this bad. I could bail at Redding. Maybe bushwhack Herrod's to the road. That would be an adventure! All I know is there's no way in hell I'm going back over Hare Mountain.


Jen T said...

Wow, that looks gorgeous. If I had places like that to run around here, I might have been doing more running (and correspondingly less dissertation-writing.)

bulletholes said...

Nice copperhead Davy. Good eye.

Martijn said...

Hare Mountain even sounds like something from a Nam movie. But the scenery is stunning and impressive. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jen! Yeah, the views are pretty good here but you have to earn them, especially this time of year. Lots of chiggers and ticks.

Nice timber rattler Davy. Good ear. First rattlesnake I've seen in Arkansas! (Copperheads are a dime a dozen.)

You're welcome, Martijn!

Thanks guys for stopping by!


red dirt girl said...

Ticks and snakes and poison ivy - oh my! I'd be running on pure fear driven adrenaline !!

You're a sport, Dave!

carl duewall said...

Where I come from they're 12 for 10 cents...

bulletholes said...

Timber Rattler! Even better!